Mail Bag – Cyborg Gerbils #1

I am a firm believer in making comic collecting fun and pleasurable. It can be an expensive hobby, so making sure you are having fun, enjoying your comics and being pleased with your purchases is paramount.

Today, I received Trigon Comics Cyborg Gerbils #1.

A lesser known British title that came out of the black and white independent boom spurred on by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cyborg Gerbils (also known as Post-Atomic Cyborg Gerbils) was the brain child of artist John Jackson and co-creator David Greene. Published in 1986, writer Brian Cuffe scripted the first series, that only ran for two issues.

70p UK – $2.50 US… those where the days.

Cyborg Gerbils tells the story of four cybernetic enhanced gerbils from the year 2154, a post-apocalyptic world ruled by an evil professor named Mandamus, who get sent back in time to present day Manchester (well.. present day in 1986).

Initially created to stop Mandamus in the year 2154, a being known as Genius started to devour the world however in doing so, sent the Cyborg Gerbils back to 1986 to murder himself when he was just a young, emotionally abused boy with learning difficulties, before he is completely indoctrinated by a young professor, also named Mandamus who experiments on him.. who also has anti ageing pills……… at least I think that is what the story is meant to be, it was difficult to follow at times!

The art is more simplistic than the plot, however, with John Jackson opting for a uncluttered “cartoony” look for all the cast of characters. The backgrounds are perhaps overly simplistic, often left as blank spaces.

So a British time travelling Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles “clone” that ran for a total of two issues and a one-off special and is largely unknown by the vast amount of comic collectors out there. Why buy this?

That one-off special, entitled Tales of the Cyborg Gerbils, published by Harrier Comics in 1987, is one of my, if not the first, earliest memories of buying a comic book, by myself for myself, in an actual comic shop in Belfast city centre. I still have that issue and am very pleased to be able to place Cyborg Gerbils #1 right alongside it in my comic collection.

Good Comic Deal

Monetary wise, this was never going to be a good comic deal, with a valuation on Comic Book Realm of $1 (which is one of the few I have seen listed on Comic Book Realm at under their original cover price!). Interestingly enough, a CGC 9.6 graded copy did sell last year for $34 (c.£27).

I won this auction for .99p, but doubled the price due to postage, so I have paid over the estimated market value.

However, this is very personal find and reminds me why I started collecting comics in the first place – to have fun and enjoy the wacky ride!

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